This gravel pass offers spectacular views of forests, rivers and waterfalls and will also elevate you by 695 vertical meters. It has a summit height of 1473m which is guaranteed to provide magnificent 360 degree views. It runs through the Blyde River Canyon National Park and is 15,3 km long ends at the crossing of the Mac-Mac River at its eastern end. It is located approximately 15 km north-east of Sabie. The road is an interesting alternative off the main tar roads to get to either Hazyview or Graskop from Sabie.
The pass has plenty of bends, corners and curves to keep you honest - in fact 48 of them, of which 9 exceed 90 degrees radius. The usual gravel road cautionaries apply of ruts, washaways and corrugations and for this pass there is the added danger of slow moving heavy forestry vehicles with long stretches of deep shadow and dappled sunlight which affects the driver's vision.
Bergvliet Pass lies on the tarred R536 route between Hazyview and Sabie in the east of the Mpumalanga province. Named after the Bergvliet plantation through which it traverses, this pass forms the most curvy and scenic part of the “Infamous 22”. This stretch of road between Sabie and the Kiepersol turnoff is 22 km long (hence the name), and is acknowledged as being one of the best motorcycling roads in South Africa, if not the world.
The regional authorities are well aware of this, and the road surface is maintained in a pristine condition, in stark contrast to the other half of the R536 on the Hazyview side, and the Kiepersol road, which are riddled with potholes and broken tar. If you are driving this route in a car, bakkie or SUV, pay close attention and be on the lookout for motorcycles which could encroach onto the wrong side of the road, on any day of the week.
Kiepersol Pass is located in the Sabie River Valley in Mpumalanga, between the towns of Hazyview and Sabie, on a minor road (D514) leading off to Kiepersol. The pass is named after the small hamlet on its eastern side, which is in turn named after the Kiepersol (Cabbage Tree), which grows prolifically throughout the province.
The road is tarred, but in a terrible state; massive potholes, which could seriously damage your vehicle were you to hit them, are scattered everywhere along the pass, and the most serious problem that you will encounter are other motorists weaving about across the road in an effort to avoid these hazards. Although it has a fairly significant altitude gain of 181 metres, the route displays none of the characteristics usually associated with a pass, and it is not easy to recognise it as such when driving it for the first time, but it is an official pass.
Mountain Passes South Africa is a website dedicated to the research, documentation, photographing and filming of the mountain passes of South Africa.
Passes are classified according to provinces and feature a text description, Fact File including GPS data, a fully interactive dual-view map and a narrated YouTube video.
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